Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (#5) by JK Rowling

Published: 21st June 2003Goodreads badge
Bloomsbury Publishing
Pages: 766
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Fantasy
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

Dark times have come to Hogwarts. After the Dementors’ attack on his cousin Dudley, Harry Potter knows that Voldemort will stop at nothing to find him. There are many who deny the Dark Lord’s return, but Harry is not alone: a secret order gathers at Grimmauld Place to fight against the Dark forces. Harry must allow Professor Snape to teach him how to protect himself from Voldemort’s savage assaults on his mind. But they are growing stronger by the day and Harry is running out of time.

It is so easy to dub this book ‘the one where Harry is angry’, but rereading this, he has a valid point. He is frustrated no one believes him, he suffered a traumatic event and didn’t really get the support afterwards he needed, and the people he turns to for help aren’t helping him. Not to mention with all his bad dreams he probably has PTSD.

Personally, it’s about time Harry was overwhelmed with everything. In the other books he, admittedly, gets himself into these situations, but for once I think he was dragged into danger kicking and screaming in GoF. Now, in the aftermath, he’s trying to deal with it. There are so many one off scenes and sentences about Harry that break my heart. How can you not feel sorry for him? What’s great though is that people do call him out a lot, as good friends should, when he’s being unreasonable. He also learns to channel his frustrations into something productive which is excellent.

Rowling puts a lot into this story, which is why it’s the biggest of them all, but there is a lot to cover. There’s possibly less individual subplots going on, while a lot is happening it is all connected in some way. Our trio have exams coming up which is a focal point, reminding us they are still at a school and not just out saving the wizarding world all the time. There are also more wizarding world discoveries as the revolt against Voldemort reignites, we learn more about a few characters, and get some new villains.

Umbridge is a great villain because she is so unreasonable, and malicious just for the sake of it. She doesn’t have grand master plans to take over the world like Voldemort, she just likes being cruel and tormenting for fun. I found a previous review I’d written and was actually interested to see how much it changed. I mentioned that I thought this book was too political, and wasn’t my favourite, I did give it four stars though. Which is interesting because I remember thinking about it being too political with the Order and stuff, but rereading it that didn’t bother me as much. It’s quite curious how it changes.

Fun Facts

At 257,045 words it is the longest book in the series

First published on 20 June 2003

Cover art is by Jason Cockcroft

The book forged new pre-order records, with thousands of people queuing outside book stores to secure their copy at midnight.

In 2004 the book was cited as an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and as an American Library Association Notable Book.

The first official foreign translation of the book appeared in Vietnamese on 21 July 2003, when the first of twenty-two instalments was released.

The first official European translation appeared in Serbia and Montenegro in Serbian, by the official publisher Narodna Knjiga, in early September 2003.

It is the first book in the series to be released while the movies were being produced.

The phone number to get into the Ministry of Magic is 62442, which can be used to spell “magic” on a mobile phone.

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